David Bote has been impressing observers since shortly after his Major League debut this spring. Now that the 25-year-old rookie has launched himself into legendary status following Sunday night’s two-out, pinch-hit walk-off grand slam against the Nationals, the rest sports world has taken notice and many inside baseball are elevating their expectations for 18th-round draft picks as a result.
“Sure, we don’t always nail it with our draft picks,” said Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, “but after seeing what David’s done after we picked him 554th in 2012, there’s no reason all guys coming out of the 18th round can’t make an immediate impact on a big league level after wallowing around the minors for seven years.”
Actual statistics might not back up Epstein’s claim. A quick review of the 2012 18th round on Baseball-Reference.com reveals that only three of the 30 players taken have seen Major League action. Most appear to no longer be playing organized baseball.
“I guess it’s great to see David finally make it in the bigs, but as the first guy picked in the 18th round that year, I really figured I had the best odds of catching on with a Major League team. ” said catcher Ricky Gingras who called quits this year after three seasons in the independent Pacific Assocation. “It’s one thing to say I didn’t make it because no one really expects much from 18th-rounders, but to know some other guy picked after me is having an impact on the best team in the National League, while, that sort of stings.”
Gingras continued: “Good for him though. I guess.”
Idea submitted by Mitchell Trachtenberg